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When is it necessary to get permits?
Obtain a building permit for all new construction and additions, as well as most alterations and remodels prior to starting the work. The only exceptions are the following:
One-story, detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet;
Fences not over six feet in height;
Movable cases, counters, and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height;
Retaining walls which are not over four feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids;
Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed two to one.
Platforms, walks, and driveways not more than 30" above grade and not over a basement or story below;
Painting, papering, and similar finish work;
Temporary motion picture, television, and theater stage sets and scenery;
Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of Group R, Division 3, and Group U Occupancies when projecting not more than 54 inches;
Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R, Division 3 occupancy in which the pool walls are entirelyabove the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons; and
Nonstructural work valued at less than $1,500 which does not affect any of the life/safety features of a single family house is exempt from building permitting requirements.
Exemption from the permit requirements does not allow for any work to be done in a manner that is inconsistent with the minimum construction or zoning requirements. For example, a 10' by 12' garden shed would not require a building permit, but would still be required to meet the setback requirements.
Separate plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permits are required for work on the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems. Electrical permits are attained from the Department of Labor and Industries office.